The old Peugeot mountain bike had been locked to a sign post on High Street for quite a while before I stopped to take a look at it. It was a lugged steel frame, with decent components, so I wondered why it never moved.
Two weeks later, it was still there. I figured that either its owner had graduated from D.U., and left it behind, or they had just abandoned it for a newer bike (or a car). I briefly thought about cutting the U-lock and commandeering the bike, but I decided against it.
I continually checked on it, dreading the inevitable. Then, it started happening...
First, the seat and seap post disappeared. The next time I saw it, the unlocked front wheel was gone, and the rear ahd been stomped into a pretzel shape. The handlebars, stem and controls were next.
Eventually, even the cranks and brakes were stripped off, and all that was left was the skeleton of a bike. The frame and fork lay in the grass, with the destroyed rear wheel, for a few weeks. Then, one day, everything was gone.
Had the jackals cut the lock and absconded with the bones, or had Authority liberated it from the trap it was in and given it a decent burial? I don't know. But, I still find myself wishing I had saved it from its undignified fate by freeing it while it was still whole.